Ayres LM200 Loadmaster


ACCESS: Confidential
10 May 2006
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Hi Everyone!

Presented here is information on the Ayres LM200 Loadmaster, which is described as a Multi-role Light Transport, (an interesting aircraft which, alas, never entered production.)

I've found plenty of photos of this aircraft but I've been unable to find any good three-views of it. (Could anyone provide any three-views and if so, could you post them on this website please?)

Tech Data follows.



Ayers LM200 Loadmaster
Type:......................................Multi-role Light Transport

[Cargo]...................................7,500 lbs over 600 nautical miles or 6,000 lbs over 1,000 miles. The version for Federal Express was to carry four (4) 1,200 lb containers
[Passengers]............................19 passengers plus cargo, 32 passengers in high-density seating or 29 paratroops

(1) Standard Cargo
(2) Cargo/Passenger
(3) Passenger
(4) Paratroop
(5) Reconnaisance
***(It can also be configured with amphibian pontoons)***

[Wingspan]..............................19.5 m
[Length]..................................21.03 m
[Height]...................................6.86 m
[Cabin Height]...........................2.39 m
[Maximum Cabin Width]...............2.53 m
[Main Cargo Volume (Flat Floor)]....38.23 m3 (1350 ft3)

[Empty].................................4082 kg
[Maximum Payload]...................3946 kg
[Maximum Fuel]........................1823 kg (600 gallons)
[Maximum Take-Off Weight].......8618 kg

One (1) Allied Signal/Allison CTP800-4T {two (2) CTP800 turboshaft engines with GKN Westland-developed combining gearbox driving a single (1) 13-foot diameter 4-blade Hamilton Standard propeller.}

[Max Cruising Speed].....363 km/h (196 KTAS) @ 10,000 feet
Normal Cruising Speed....305 km/h (165 KTAS) @ 10,000 feet


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3 views, the LHTEC CTS-800 engine and configurations

Source: Avion Revue 175 January 1997


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A similar concept: the Freedom Aircraft Co. DS-888


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Dronte said:
3 views, the LHTEC CTS-800 engine and configurations

Source: Avion Revue 175 January 1997

Hi Dronte!

Thank you very much for posting the 3-view and the other information!

... and another single-turboprop transport, this time from Poland.

A 1995 proposal for a 18,70 m long transport by Edward Margański. No type designation, sorry.
(SOURCE: Makowski: "Współczesne Konstrukcje Lotnicze Polski")


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Another profile, illustrating quite well the size of the Loadmaster in comparison
to the Shorts 330 and the Cessna Skyvan (from AirPictorial 5/99) .
And : At least building of the fuselage had begun in Albany and of the wings
in the Czech republic, so this project was relatively near to realisation, compared
to others.


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Dronte said:
A similar concept: the Freedom Aircraft Co. DS-888

Hi Dronte!

Do you know of any three-view line drawings available for the Freedom Aircraft Company's DS-888?

ChuckAnderson said:
Dronte said:
A similar concept: the Freedom Aircraft Co. DS-888

Hi Dronte!

Do you know of any three-view line drawings available for the Freedom Aircraft Company's DS-888?


No, sorry :(

Ayers LM-250 :was a floatplane version of LM-200 Loadmaster,powered by CTP800-50
LHTEC turbine engine.
boxkite said:
IAI C-5WA Airtruck
IAI submission chosen in principle by Federal Express of USA against competition from Saab (Sweden) and Ayres (USA) in mid-1998 as replacement for Fokker Friendship parcel transports.

SOURCE: JAWA 2001-2002

Here's the Ayres LM200 Loadmaster:


[IMAGE CREDIT: aeropedia.nl]​


[IMAGE CREDIT: Aviation Week]​

Via it's Wikipedia entry:

Data from The International Directory of Civil Aircraft, 2001-2002

General characteristics
  • Crew: 1-2 (Aircraft was to have been certified for single pilot operation)
  • Capacity: 9.000 lb (3,945 kg) of freight, or up to 34 passengers
  • Length: 64 ft 4 in (19.61 m)
  • Wingspan: 64 ft 01 in (19.51 m)
  • Height: 23 ft 0 in (7.00 m)
  • Wing area: 458.0 ft² (45.5 m²)
  • Empty weight: 9,000 lb (4,080 kg)
  • Max. takeoff weight: 19,000 lb (8,620 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 × LHTEC CTP800-4T turboprop, 2,700 shp (2,013 kW)

  • Maximum speed: 200 kts (370 km/h)
  • Cruise speed: 150 kts (278 km/h)
  • Range: 280 nmi (518 km)
  • Ferry range: 1,630 nmi (3,020 km)
Ayres LM200 Loadmaster



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The design was an interesting combination of a dedicated fuselage designed to support four FedEx standardized cargo containers, the wing and tail of a Let 610G (Ayres bought the Czech company Let to continue the production of the Let 410 and produce the new Let 610). Problems with the gearbox that was powered by two LHTEC turboshaft engines driving one propeller, and the FAA restriction on the weight (12,500 for a single engine aircraft) were a couple of the technical issues. The greatest problem was the poor financial footing of Ayres. First the Let company went bankrupt, as they were not producing their popular L410 to bring in revenue, and then the financial problems of Ayres to finish the prototype, which was months from first flight.
Cockpit of the Ayres, which was raised from the original design due to the increased need for thrust and a larger diameter propeller, resulting in a raised engine position.
BTW The mockup of the Loadmaster is still at the Albany, Georgia Thrush Aircraft Company manufacturing plant. A legal dispute over ownership of the LM200 resulted in the freezing of all the assets (tools, jigs, drawings. etc) in the plant. It remains there to this day.


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The mockup can be seen in Google Earth image behind the manufacturing plant.


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Here is the Let 610G or Ayres 7000, which was acquired by Ayres after the company bought Let. It is parked near an abandoned taxiway at Albany's Southwest Georgia Regional Airport. In the background you can see the Ayres Loadmaster mockup. The engine of the Loadmaster is removed, and due to a shift in CG, sits on its tail. (Unfortunately, I could not get a better angle or have gotten closer to the manufacturing company when this photo was taken.)


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Loadmaster on its tail.


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Thanks for tying-up the fate of the L610, I had been curious as to what happened.

So, why did Ayres adopt the wing of the 610 but not the engines? Surely just about every combined-gearbox engine in history ( He-177, Wyvern, Learfan etc ) has been unsuccessful at best. Would it not have been easier to retain the wing-mounted engines and concentrate on the fuselage?
Floatplane concept, larger image. Brassey's, 1999.

Two horizontal beams, four main struts and under the fuselage is a V-shaped cabane. The rear struts and cabane seem to attach to points associated with the conventional undercarriage.


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The Ayres Loadmaster was a growth version of a design Fred Ayres was working on in the early 1990's. Known as the Bushmaster, the aircraft was very similar to the size and configuration of the Cessna C208 Caravan. Ayres, who was building cargo door kit components for FedEx 727's learned of FedEx's requirement for a freighter that was sized between a Caravan and a Fokker F27 and pitched its Bushmaster design to FedEx. FedEx thought it was too small and wanted a larger aircraft. The Bushmaster was scaled up and the fuselage design frozen to accommodate L3D and AYY containers that FedEx was using.

The need for a powerful engine resulted in the selection of two LTECH T800's with a Pratt & Whitney/Soloy TwinPac engine system as an alternative (cg requirements using the alternative engine would have resulted in the engine moving further back on the fuselage). As the design progressed the prop diameter increased, resulting in a raised cockpit similar to a 747 cockpit profile.

In April of 1998 the Ayres Loadmaster design was nearly solidified and Fairchild Dornier was selected to build the production aircraft's fuselage. At that time Let had not been selected as a contractor. Ayres went to Let and found them a suitable manufacturer for the wing and empennage. However, Let was in financial trouble and Ayres saw the opportunity to acquire the company to expand the Ayres company's offerings in utility aircraft, which was approved by the US government in September 1998. The single propeller, fuselage-mounted engines were already chosen as the designs configuration for the Loadmaster at this time.

Ayres had faith in Allison (T800) and Westland (gearbox), which designed helicopter transmissions, and stood by the twin-engine single-prop concept throughout the project.

Unfortunately for Let, they (Let) focused its workforce on the production of the Loadmaster and their new design, the Let610 (the G model was designed with western avionics for markets in the US and Europe). The money maker for he company, the L410, was nearly set aside. Both companies, Let and Ayres, began to become drained from the development costs of new aircraft.

Ultimately, both companies ended up in bankruptcy. In hindsight, I think the configuration that Kiltonge suggested would have solved some of the design challenges that Ayres experienced. FedEx ultimately sought the ATR 42 as the aircraft to replace the ill fated Loadmaster, which BTW was a twin engine high wing.
Ayres LM200 Loadmaster press photo found eBay.



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The idea behind the coupled engine was single-pilot operation, plain and simple. Operationally, the LM200 was a big Cessna Caravan - one of the attractions was to get three times the capacity in the same ramp space (and containerized, and with one pilot). The front-end shape was a result of raising the prop shaft to match the prop diameter, and the cockpit floor to let the pilot see over the nose, while leaving the cargo floor at truck-bed height.

I don't think there were any 410/610 pieces involved, however.
According to Flight International the plan was to have the vertical stabilizer of the Let 410 and the horizontal stabilizer of the Let 610G mounted on the Loadmaster. Not sure if the structures were ever used on the Loadmaster mockup.


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You're right, Dyno - I was looking at notes from before the LET acquisition. Among snippets from later notes:

Certification standards for the CTP800-4T have been set by the Federal Aviation Administration, with the help of its helicopter directorate. The two engine “barrels” and propeller present no unusual issues: [/size]the engines are entirely separate, and the certification authorities have always taken the view that a catastrophic propeller failure is likely to leave any aircraft unable to maintain height, and have set correspondingly high standards for propeller reliability.
[/size]The unique issues reside in the gearbox. LHTEC (an equal partnership of Rolls-Royce/Allison and AlliedSignal) and GKN Westland Aerospace, which builds the gearbox, have to demonstrate that the gearbox will continue to operate after a single-point failure, and that it will reliably and automatically disconnect a failed engine from the power train, leaving the aircraft with at least 50% power. The gearbox itself is entirely self-contained, with its own health-monitored lubrication system. In a design change late in 1998, the gearbox has been provided with the ability to run for an extended period after an oil loss. Ayres and FedEx were probably right to select LHTEC to provide the Loadmaster’s propulsion system. because the parent companies have had both the resources and the motivation to develop the engine: until the Comanche program gets moving, the Loadmaster is the only high-volume application in sight for the T800. The system has presented challenges in terms of weight – the gearbox weighs almost as much as both engines. However, the layout provides direct benefits in aircraft performance, because the aircraft retains symmetrical thrust in the engine-out case, with no drag due to trim or a feathered propeller. [size=10pt]
FedEx Express fleet


(copied here for archiving:)
FedEx Express fleet Aircraft In service Orders Notes
Airbus A300-600RF 68 — Older aircraft to be retired and replaced by Boeing 767-300F
Airbus A310-300F 10 — To be phased out
Boeing 757-200SF 119 —
Boeing 767-300ERF 48 66[29][30] Deliveries through 2023 with additional 50 options
Replacing Airbus A300-600F, A310-300, and DC-10
1 aircraft to be returned to lessor
Boeing 777F 30 16[31] 16 additional aircraft to be delivered between 2018 and 2023
McDonnell Douglas MD-10-10 26 — To be phased out
Replacement aircraft: Boeing 767-300F and Boeing 777F by 2020.[32]
McDonnell Douglas MD-10-30 13 —
McDonnell Douglas MD-11F 57 — Older aircraft to be retired.[32]
Total 371 82
FedEx Contracted Feeder Fleet
ATR 42-300F/-320F 26 —
ATR 72-200F 21 —
ATR 72-600F — 30 Launch customer
Deliveries begin in 2020[33]
Order with 20 options.
Cessna 408 SkyCourier — 50 Order for 50 with 50 options[34]
Cessna 208B Super Cargomaster 239 —
Total 286 80

So they seem to have more than 200 Cessna 208B already.
Pictures from Google Earth 3D of the Loadmaster in Albany, GA.


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